“Baby buds from high-grown field
Mature into silvery green needles
A white brew steeped in aroma
Is a master pick from Darjeeling!”
White tea is made from the Camellia sinensis plant and contains polyphenols, a phytonutrient that is responsible for the tea’s health benefits. According to researches, most of the antioxidants are found in the buds of the tea bush and that is why white tea is rich in antioxidants.
Among all the teas, White Tea is the least processed of all giving it a delicate and subtle flavor. The name “White Tea” is derived from the fine white hairs that cover the young tea buds, which is harvested along with the tea plant’s leaves before they fully open.
These buds and unfurled leaves from the newest growth on the tea plant are handpicked with care and then quickly and meticulously dried, so the leaves are not allowed to oxidize as long as leaves plucked for green or black tea production. This minimal processing and low oxidation results in some of the most delicate and freshest tea available. White teas are characterized by delicate flavors, a smooth mouth feel, and a subtly fruity, sweet finish.
Growth in the tea estate of Darjeeling are also slow and leads to development of exotic flavors. These make the White teas from Darjeeling even special.
White teas tend to have less bitterness than other teas, and can be more forgiving of water temperature and infusion times than other teas. Being a delicate tea, care must be given on the correct infusion time as well as a measured quantity – vital parameters for obtaining the best from your white tea.
Especially the White Tea which we have made during First Flush have extra ordinary flavor with a finish of honey and citrus in them.
White Tea – Manufacturing Process
All teas come from the same plant – Camellia sinensis. It is the process of oxidation that determines the type of tea that is produced. Oxidation in simple terms would be the time the tea leaves are allowed to be exposed to oxygen once they’ve been harvested. The longer tea leaves are exposed to oxygen, the darker the leaves become and the deeper the flavor profile that’s developed. During processing many different methods are used to create and control oxidation, including rolling, shaping or crushing the leaves to speed up oxidation, and steaming, firing or roasting the leaves to stop it.
On contact with air at a temperature of 20 – 25 ° C, some compounds in the green tea leaf are chemically converted, stimulated by the presence of enzymes. For other teas such as Black tea or green tea they undergo other processes such as rolling among others. However white tea is so minimally processed that much less oxidation occurs. The tea leaves are simply wilted, dried and sorted. They are barely transformed so they keep their natural color, as does the liqueur. As soon as the buds are plucked they are allowed to wither and air dry in the sun or in a carefully controlled outdoor or indoor environment. Some buds may be steamed or exposed to low heat to help dry them more quickly to stop oxidation. Some minimal oxidation occurs as the buds are allowed to dry naturally, but since oxidation is not encouraged manually, white tea has a much softer, delicate flavor profile than its green or black tea cousins.
White Teas are the closest form of having tea naturally. The base process for manufacturing white tea is as follows:
Fresh tea leaves and buds → Withering → Drying (air drying, solar drying or mechanical drying) → White tea
White tea belongs to the group of tea that does not require panning, rolling or shaking. Only the plucking of young tea leaves with much fine hair can produce good-quality white tea of a high pekoe (grading) value.
Benefits of White Tea:
- It has antioxidant and anti-aging properties which reduce the risk of premature aging.
- Research suggests that white tea is a potential anticancer, chemo preventive agent and its extract may induce apoptosis or cell death and may help in preventing new cell growth in lung cancer. It has anti-mutagenic properties as well.
- Result of a research study suggests that intake of white tea may provide relief to diabetic people from symptoms such as excessive thirst (polydipsia), decrease plasma glucose levels and increase insulin secretion.
- Studies suggest that intake of white tea may prevent adipogenesis, the process of formation of fat cells which helps the body to loose weight.
- White tea has antibacterial properties which can protect our skin from bacteria and other germs. Various products such as hand soap are made using white tea as a key ingredient.
Measure 2.5 Grams per cup and add it to the tea pot. Now pour freshly boiled water into the pot and brew for five to seven minutes to taste. Strain into cup and your White Tea. It is best enjoyed without adding any milk or sugar.
Gopaldhara’s white teas are intensely aromatic with notes of honey. The elevation at which we grow and harvest our teas ranges from 5500 to 7000ft. The high elevation as well as the low temperatures experienced in the Darjeeling hills results in the development of flavors that are unique to authentic Darjeeling loose leaf tea. White teas from Gopaldhara are available in various forms of packaging – from Trail Packs, Gift Boxes and regular classy paper boxes.
To learn more about our various white teas, visit our white tea product page: https://gopaldharaindia.com/product-category/white-tea/
Korean Diabetes Association
University of Maryland Medical Center
Chin J Integr Med. 2009